The Gorakhpur tragedy and its aftermath

Gorakhpur hospital deaths: Opposition onslaught on Adityanath government

Policemen grappling with supporters of team Masuka as they march at Vijay Chowk, in New Delhi on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Opposition parties cornered the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government on Saturday, holding it responsible for the deaths of at least 30 children in Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College allegedly due to non-supply of oxygen by the contractor over non-payment of dues.

While the Congress demanded the sacking of UP Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh and asked Chief Minister Adityanath to apologise to people, the Samajwadi Party accused the BJP government of trying to cover up its lapses. The Bahujan Samaj Party accused the BJP government of “criminal negligence.”

Lapses to blame

Led by Rajya Sabha Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, a delegation of Congress leaders inspected the hospital and concluded that the incident was caused due to the lapses of the State government.

Mr. Azad said the State government did not pay heed to the warnings issued by the local administration about the crisis in oxygen supply. “The health secretary, Health Minister and the CM are all responsible,” Mr. Azad said, demanding that Mr. Adityanath sack Mr. Siddharth Nath Singh and himself tender an apology to the people.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi also criticised the Yogi Adityanath government on Twitter: “...BJP government is responsible & should punish the negligent, who caused this tragedy.”

Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav alleged that the BJP government was trying to cover up the facts in the incident and dispatched a six-member delegation led by Leader of Opposition in U.P., Ram Govind Chaudhary, to the hospital to take stock of the ground situation. They will submit their report to the SP chief on Sunday.

No autopsy

“The kin of the dead were handed over the bodies and chased away. A post-mortem was also not conducted and the admit cards were also made to vanish,” Mr. Yadav said.

He demanded strict action against those responsible, while demanding that the family members of the victims be given a compensation of ₹ 20 lakh each.

BSP chief Mayawati demanded a high-level probe into the incident and suggested that Mr. Adityanath should use his “discretion” and sack the Health Minister as the deaths were a case of “criminal negligence.”

“No amount of condemnation of the BJP government is enough for this horrific incident,” Ms. Mayawati said, adding that it raised “100 questions” on the “potential” of the Yogi Adityanath government. She also formed a three-member probe delegation under her state president Ram Achal Rajbhar, which will submit a report to her.

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Printable version | Apr 19, 2021 1:58:06 PM |

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